Grief goes much beyond the loss of a human life. It relates to the ending of a relationship, the loss of something very dear to us like our career, self-worth etc. All in all, despite being a four-letter word, grief is one heavy subject that people can understand and digest better when presented with it in the form of a story.
On this National Grief Awareness Day, here are some books that talk about loss of one kind or the other, but they do it with a lot of humour, empathy, and sensitivity.
- The Collected Regrets of Clover: An uplifting story about living a full, beautiful life
Meet Clover Brooks, a death doula in New York City who has lost touch with how to live. She spends most of her time caring for people in their final days. Clover carries a regret that she can’t seem to let go of. That is until she crosses paths with Claudia, a feisty elderly woman with one final wish. Claudia’s request sets Clover off on a new adventure. Will she be able to remember how to live her own big, beautiful life? This heartwarming story is perfect for fans of Sally Page, Ruth Hogan, and Clare Pooley. It’s about discovering what you truly want in life and having the courage to pursue it.
- Hello Beautiful: THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Best friends and sisters, the four Padavano girls bring loving chaos to their close-knit Italian-American neighbourhood. William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him. So, when he meets the spirited and ambitious Julia Padavano, it’s as if the world has lit up around him. With Julia comes her family: Sylvie, the family’s dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book; Cecelia is a free-spirited artist; and Emeline patiently takes care of them all. But when darkness from William’s past begins to block the light of his future, it is Sylvie, not Julia, who becomes his closest confidante. The result is a catastrophic rift that leaves the family inhabiting two sides of a fault line. Can they find their way back to each other? Can love make a broken family whole?
- Strange Sally Diamond
Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died. Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives but also from a sinister voice from a past she cannot remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends and big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say. But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world? And why does her neighbour seem to be obsessed with her? Sally’s trust issues are about to be severely challenged . . .
- The Comfort Book
The Comfort Book is a collection of consolations learned in hard times and suggestions for making the bad days better. Drawing on maxims, memoirs and the inspirational lives of others, these meditations offer new ways of seeing ourselves and the world.
- When Breath Becomes Air
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, the next he was a patient struggling to live.
When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student asking what makes a virtuous and meaningful life into a neurosurgeon working at the core of human identity. the brain ? and finally into a patient and a new father.
What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when life is catastrophically interrupted? What does it mean to have a child as your own life fades away?
Paul Kalanithi died while working on this profoundly moving book, yet his words live on as a guide to us all. When Breath Becomes Air is a life-affirming reflection on facing our mortality and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a gifted writer who became both.